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ACKNOWLEGEMENTS


Special thanks to a dear friend, Linda Cox, for her ongoing encouragement, support and feedback during the writing of this novel. I also want to thank another friend, Stephanie Abbott, for her advice and knowledge about electronic publishing. Most of all, I want to say a prayerful and loving thanks to my late mother, Virginia Mae Ruse, who not only encouraged my creative efforts from the very beginning, but who also remarkably gave me the name and spooky nature of this tale’s villain, and was an Annie Oakley in her own right.

And Aggie and Sam, thank you for all your help!


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CHAPTER ONE

The Assignment


“Am I in trouble, Sir?” asked Agnes Westfeld as she entered the Deputy Director’s office at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Joshua Danton gestured toward the empty chair in front of his desk. “Do you think you should be in trouble, Officer Westfeld?” he inquired with that agency air of calculating innocence that always made the hairs on the back of her neck stand at attention.

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